November 4, 2008 – no matter what side of the aisle you land – was a historic day. Surely, it meant something different for our generation(s) as we did not live through the Civil Rights movement, but it was historic nonetheless. In case you were under a rock, Barack Obama was elected president.
In chatting with folks at this weekend’s CTA conference, I realized that November 4 could be for us what November 22, 1963 was for our parents. Or even, what September 11, 2001 or April 2, 2005 has been for our generation. It is a day that we will always remember where we were at when we heard the news.
For instance, on April 2, 2005 when Pope John Paul II died I was surfing the web while listening to some history lecture at Catholic university. I can feel myself sitting in that uncomfortable chair in the student union, dying to interrupt the lecturer with the news that flashed across my computer screen. I did, in the end, restrain myself. I will always remember that day.
So, I thought it might be interesting – in a totally non-partisan way, as historic events like this tend to distract us from the polarization of our society – to hear everyone’s November 4 stories.
Where were you when you heard?
Here’s my story:
I was at a small, surprisingly uncrowded bar in DC with my partner, two of our faithsharing pals, and fifteen of our best friends (having only become best friends in bonding over CNN for the past five hours). At 11 pm, when they announced that Obama had won, there was a silence that went over the place followed by tears, applause, and blueberry vodka shots. After McCain and Obama’s speeches, we took a group picture – the whole bar, that is – and went on our way. The metro was closed and no cab was in sight – which meant a 20 block walk home. The streets were filled with people cheering and honking their horns (94% of DC voters happened to vote for Obama – though our vote doesn’t matter much). It was slightly drizzling on our walk back but fun nonetheless. When we made it home, I checked – of all things – folks’ Facebook status updates. Some of my friends expressed their joy, while other friends felt disappointed in California, Florida, Arizona, and Arkansas, and still other friends felt that Obama’s election was a threat to the causes they hold dear. I went to bed with that feeling that something incredible just happened. Fireworks were still going off in the distance.
So, now it’s your turn. Where were you? I challenge you to stay away from slander against one candidate or another because – like I said before – this was a historic occasion no matter what your politics might be.